I’ve had this photo of Amsterdam stuck in my head lately, so this weekend I went and found it to share. This photo to me says “Amsterdam” maybe in a way that no other does. It’s the bike, the architecture. But not only that, I love that the bike is personalized. In a place with so many bicycles, a few people went a little step beyond to make theirs recognizable. With flowers, ribbon, special paint jobs. Bicycle as transportation, but also as a means of personal expression. I love it!
Archives for January 2010
Yesterday we went to the Steve McCurry Sud-Est 1980-2009 exhibit in Milano.
What an amazing photographer, able to capture the feel and story of a place and time. Able to capture the essence of a person’s soul in his portraits. You feel like you are looking right inside them, and in return, they move something in you.
My goal of photographing and sharing the exhibit was not to reproduce his work, that is already done beautifully in the exhibit website and on his own website. My goal was just to show how they were presented, and how powerful and moving the photographs are. Seeing them large scale and in person was amazing. It showed me something different about how you can experience a powerful photograph.
In some ways, as a photographer myself, it was overwhelming. I mean, in the face of such greatness, why do I bother? But in light of yesterday’s post, I remember that I have something to contribute too, my own unique vision. Steve McCurry’s vision is beyond amazing, he is clearly an artist of extraordinary talent.
All I can say is… Wow.
From photographer Rodney Smith’s blog, The End Starts Here: “If you were to stand right beside me and use the same camera, you would not take this same picture. It probably would look quite different. This is what makes each person’s photographs unique. It is your take on the world, and is special only to you. This gift is not something to be taken lightly or ignored.
It is why I know more about you when I look at your pictures than I know about the subject. I can look deep into your being, know your vulnerabilities, whether you wish to acknowledge them or not. I can feel your perspective, your orientation, and your feelings. Isn’t it funny how life sometimes feels backwards? I look at your pictures and I see you in them, with a greater clarity than I see your subject.”
What a powerful statement on photography. This just completely resonated with me when I read it this morning. I think this captures in an essence why I love photography, and why I feel compelled to share. It’s like sharing about me. Sometimes when I look at my photos after coming home, I’m amazed by one or two. I think, “Wow, I really saw that? I didn’t even know that was what I was taking a picture of!” But somewhere deep inside me, the real me, saw and acted on it.
And when I combine one of those “wow” photos with a thought on this blog, I’m often amazed at what comes out! Pieces of me that I didn’t even know were in there.
So I share one of those photos today, one of those that I said “wow” when I started going through my images later. I was coming up the steps at the old castello in San Vigilio, above the high city of Bergamo, about to exit onto the roof for a view. My own unique vision. Truly the “Kat Eye View” of the World!
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” – Agatha Christie
I read this quote this morning and it struck me as so true! I wanted to share the quote and chose this picture, a sort of self portrait of me in the mirror behind an Egyptian statue at the museum in Torino. One of the interesting things about ancient Egypt is their fascination and preparation for death. In one exhibit, they showed a tomb of a common man. This guy labored all day building the tombs of the mighty and powerful and then in his free time labored to build his own tomb. His life spent preparing for death.
I think I would rather spend my time alive in living, no matter how messy it might be.
Isn’t this the most inviting little scene? The gate is cracked open, just waiting for someone to step inside. There is tantalizing view of the flowers in the courtyard, showing that someone put thought and effort into the space. The purple house makes me think – hey, I want to know this person who paints their house purple and has such beautiful flowers. I want to sit in their courtyard and drink tea. (Of course, this is in Italy, so it would be coffee they are drinking, sadly for me.) I love images like this that invite you in, where you can make up a whole story based on it. They say, “An image is worth a thousand words,” but each of us can use a different thousand for the story. How fun!
That means: The little red frog. These little guys were one of the exhibits at the Acquarium in Genova. They were really tiny. I loved the bright little spots of color among the green leaves and brown soil, so delicate looking. I’m not usually a frog person, but for some reason this image got stuck in my head the other day, and I had to share it.